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Holiday Cheers

hibiscus royale champagne cocktail
From beer to bubbly and more – what to drink now. MORE+ LESS-

The Perfect Match for Crescent Apps

Eggnog all around and raise a glass -- the winter holidays are here! It’s the time we allow ourselves to appreciate the best of what we have: our families, our health, our friends and hopefully a little more peace on earth than usual.

Of course, celebrations deserve great food and drink — and the right drink. Think of a cheeseburger with a big glass of grapefruit juice versus one with a cola and you’ll get the basic idea behind food-beverage pairing.

Here are some big-picture ideas to get you started, using our favorite Crescent holiday appetizers as the food to match.

May your holiday cheer be especially cheery this year!

cucumber hummus tart

Cucumber Hummus Tart 

Anything made with cucumbers pairs well with gin cocktails. Greek white wines made with the zesty grape Assyrtiko are another great option. For a non-alcoholic choice, fill a pitcher with water and add lemon slices and peeled cucumber chunks. That’s what they serve in fancy spas, and it’s a fun thirst-quencher.

five bacon date pinwheel pops

Bacon Date Pinwheel Pops

The sweet-savory indulgence of this date and bacon treat is beautifully offset by a drink with equally dark riches, tawny port. We like ours either chilled to cellar temperature or served over ice with a little sparkling water. Another option is ruby port, typically a little juicier than the oaky, toasty tawny ports. One bottle can serve as an appetizer or dessert course for a group of 12 or will last well in the refrigerator for weeks.

a tray of gorgonzola and pear cups

Gorgonzola and Pear Cups

Blue cheese and French Semillon-based white wines are one of life’s great pleasures; the honey and pear notes of the wine make the tangy depths of the cheese just sing. Look for any white French Bordeaux made with Semillon, or pick up an Australian version.

a plate with a raspberry and black pepper baked brie bite

Raspberry and Black Pepper Baked Brie Bites

California’s favorite daughter, deep dark red Zinfandel, has notes of raspberry and black pepper within it, making it an ideal partner for these similarly flavored brie bites.

a plate with thai chicken bites with spicy mango peanut dipping sauce

Thai Chicken Bites with Spicy Mango Peanut Dipping Sauce

Crisp, fine pale lager beers go wonderfully with sweet-and-spicy Thai treats. A nice non-alcoholic partner for these bites is limeade; make it with sparkling water for a little extra cheer.

a plate with two bite crescent cristos and fresh raspberries

Two Bite Crescent Cristos

Irish red ales have a rich maltiness and a buttery element that make them a perfect pair for Monte Cristo sandwiches. (That buttery aspect comes from standard beer-making; there’s no butter in the bottles!) Our top pick would be an Irish import, but an American version would also partner well.